Northern Star




Northern Star

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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Change your life with morning, night routines

Rebecca Franzen sits on her phone, illuminated by morning light. Coming to Cast Iron Coffee is a part of her morning routine because she “likes the quiet atmosphere and minimal distractions,” Franzen said. (Anna Scanlan | Northern Star)

Tired but you have an 8 a.m.? Wake yourself up with a head-splitting alarm that sounds like a street parade in your room. Place your phone in the farthest corner of your room, so you have no choice but to get up and turn it off, and since you’re up, get ready for the day. 

But, your alarm is just the beginning. 

There’s more to your morning than waking up. You want to look and feel fabulous, don’t you? 

The steps between what you look like getting out of bed to when you look the best aren’t hard to do.

Many college students are a wake-up-and-go type of person, but as the day goes on, they realize their social battery is down and they don’t have the energy to complete tasks. It’s a one-class trip then back-to-bed type of day for them. 

It’s 2024, and we’ve begun a new semester of college. Let this year be about prioritizing your health and well-being, so you’re at a state where you can perfect your craft, create harmony, find your purpose and accomplish balance in your life. 

Now, if you’re tired all throughout the day, there are two questions you can ask that will help you get to the root of the problem: What did you do before bed, and what did you do as soon as you woke up? 

As college students we tackle a lot during the day – assignments, social interactions, work, the gym – and all of this can feel like a lot when you don’t have any structure in your day and week.


A morning routine will set the tone for the day. It’ll bring your awareness to your well-being, so you can focus on how to make yourself feel nourished and energized while also bringing your attention to what you need to accomplish during the day. Students don’t want a routine with 20 steps that take two hours to complete. An effective routine is something simple yet thorough. 

According to Healthline, our human bodies involuntarily yawn and stretch. It’s the body’s way of keeping itself flexible and oxygenated. Most people find yoga to be refreshing, but not everyone wants to commit to yoga. Why not stretch instead? A quick three-minute stretch will do wonders for your body and your mind. Healthline suggests stretches that specifically release tension the body acquires while lying still for hours.

The Cat-Cow stretch releases tension around the spine, shoulders and abdominals. Get on your hands and knees, take a deep breath and drop your belly toward the floor while arching your back, then push your spine toward the ceiling. Continue this stretch for five to 10 breaths. This motion is so easy you could do it in your sleep.

Another stretch is neck circles. Sometimes your pillow can cause you more pain than it does pleasure. In the morning, stand or sit straight and look straight ahead. Begin to roll your head to the left until you feel a release of pressure in your neck, then rotate towards the right. Do this five to ten times on each side.

Stretching wakes you up, helping you become more self-aware and less anxious. 

Next, brushing your teeth and washing your face. These two will clear out the gunk in your eyes and rid your mouth of bad breath. After that some warm water – lemon water for the healthy divas – as it aids in digestion and the detoxification of your body which will bring you a better mood for the day. 

For you creative beings out there, water painting, drawing, dancing and music can also be a great way to start your day. There’s nothing wrong with getting your creative juices flowing. 


You’re talked out, tired, full and ready to go to bed. A lot of people are in the habit of hopping in bed and laying up with their phone. Now, this will only keep you up all night mindlessly scrolling on social media. Give your brain a rest, and tune into your body. Don’t think, just do. Take a nice warm shower to wash off the day, brush your teeth and get into your clean pajamas. I believe in treating yourself like royalty, especially after a day where you’ve worked so hard for yourself and others. 

Often, 9 p.m. can be a bit early, and 11 p.m. is too close to the next day. A good time to go to bed is 9:45 p.m., 10 p.m. Trust me, after a productive day you will be ready to go to bed at that time. If you get into bed and you still aren’t tired, you can do a one-minute in-bed stretch of two poses, seated forward fold and cat pose to get your legs and spine ready for bed. 

These positions will release lower back pain and tension in your legs promoting a smooth sleep, and if you’re still not tired, then I suggest repeating these positions until you’re ready to fall asleep.


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